Developing the measurement capability for future communication networks in Europe
The EU’s digital strategy targets a climate-neutral Europe by 2050. However, the advent of new technologies, including autonomous cars or 5G networks, require the utilisation of higher frequency transmissions and broader bandwidths. If applied to present electronic radio frequency (RF) instrumentation this would result in increased energy consumption. In future electronic networks will require devices capable of improved energy and operational efficiency. However, no measurement facilities exist in Europe for assessing the real-world performance of component-dense types of instrumentation including ‘Passive Inter-Module’ effects, which can occur in the high-power industry-grade connectors used in 5G networks. If not addressed this will have a negative effect on manufacturers of RF products and the communications sector as a whole.
Building on the EURAMET projects HFCircuits and ADVENT, FutureComm will develop techniques to characterise electronics operating at higher (mm) wavelength frequencies, including electronic chips with integrated antennas. It will also evaluate signal and power integrity as well as electromagnetic interference (EMI) in high speed digital circuits, ensuring operation as designed. Devices will also be assessed under real-world operating conditions and harsh environmental influences, such as those found in orbital satellites. New methodology will also be developed to measure the detrimental effects caused by high component density.
These new capabilities, disseminated through good practice guides, workshops, publications and input into international standards will strengthen Europe’s positions in the communication and electronics sectors. Reduced overall energy consumption will also help attain the climate neutral goal by 2050.